The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has decided to charge GP practices according to their patient list size, scrapping the previous banded approach.
In its consultation response, the CQC said yesterday (28 March) that the amount of money to be paid by NHS GP providers will be calculated by using the patient list size per location.
The CQC said that they have decided to ‘move to a proportionate from a banded approach in charging fees using patient list size for all NHS GP providers’.
For example, ‘an NHS GP provider with two locations and patient list sizes of 10,000 and 8,300 at each of the locations will see their fee increase from £8,371 to £11,449.’
The changes will apply from April 2018.
Patients onthe main practice’s register
The CQC said that ‘the list size data is obtained from NHS Digital annually as close to 1 April as possible’.
It specified that those practices with more than one branch but share the same patient list across their different sites will have to register their main practice as a single location.
Instead, practices having different patient lists across their two locations will have to register the two sites separately with the CQC.
It comes as the CQC proposed last year to calculate fees based on patient list size after finding that under the previous system, which has been in place for the past eight years, providers with two or three registered locations pay more fees than those with one location.
Practices with fewer patients will pay lower fees
The CQC said that they launched the consultation to make sure that ‘fees continue to be charged and distributed fairly’.
Providing feedback to the CQC consultation, an anonymous GP said: ‘If current proposals are going ahead then a floor but not ceiling would be the fairest option, as larger practices should be able to afford larger fees and will involve more inspection work, but very small practices will still need a day’s visit from CQC as per moderate size practices.’
For example, the CQC said that ‘an NHS GP provider with one location and a patient list size of 5,200 will see their fee decrease from £4,526 to £3,473’.
Practices can calculate the amount of money they owe the CQC by using their fees calculator.